Today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has registered 13 new Ebola cases in its daily update. Six of the new cases are in Butembo, three in Oicha and two each in Beni and Katwa.
The total outbreak numbers are now 471 cases, of which 423 are confirmed and 48 are probable; 273 people died. The World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that it has concerns about the reintroduction of the virus into the outbreak region.
Officials confirmed five new deaths yesterday and today, including the death of a community in Komanda, which increases the risk of transmission between the two carers. According to the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1
Violence against the population
Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the Minister of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will hold a press conference in Kinshasa to update the information public on the outbreak, now in the fifth month. He said there had been cases in Butembo and Katwa over the past three weeks, and he attributed the increase to three main causes.
First, Kalenga said these communities are characterized by high population density and mobility, as this is the main trading region of North Kivu. He also said that small pockets of violent resistance by the community at some point have limited reaction efforts.
"The restraint of the community is more violent than the restraint that was common in previous Ebola outbreaks," said Kalenga. "A minority of the population in these areas expresses their reluctance by regularly destroying medical equipment and health centers, as well as physical attacks by health workers."
Finally, Kalenga said that 44 health workers suffered from Ebola during this outbreak, or 9% of the case population, and 12 died. Infections among health workers are always problematic in Ebola outbreaks because they lead to nosocomial infections.
Kalenga estimated that tens of thousands of Congolese have been protected from the disease by the use of unauthorized Ebola vaccine from Merck across the region since August. To date, 41,226 people have been vaccinated, including 3,556 in Butembo.
DRC, Uganda coordinate responses
Yesterday, health officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring Uganda met in Goma for a bilateral exchange of information to reinforce surveillance of disease at the border.
According to All Africa, the countries agreed common border crossing points for a joint screening.
Also yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its 18th annual report on the outbreak. From 27 November to 3 December, officials confirmed 31 Ebola cases in eight health areas.
"The health zones of Komanda, Masereka and Mabalako have each reported a new confirmed case, respectively running 61 days, 48 days and 56 days after confirming previously confirmed cases and investigations regarding connections and travel history from other areas to those cases currently, "said the WHO. She added that the recurrence of Ebola in these three zones underlines the possibility of reintroducing viruses into communities in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.
The WHO said the outbreak was "serious and unpredictable". Monitoring of contact monitoring continues. By 3 December, 5,335 people have been actively persecuted. On average, healthcare providers receive 212 warnings about possible infections per day, of which 64 are suspected cases.
See also: ]
6. December Update of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
6. December All African News
6. December WHO Management Report